Discover how the messaging and marketing of birth control has changed throughout the years

Percy Skuy lecture flyerThe Dittrick Medical History Center will host the Percy Skuy Lecture featuring Elizabeth Watkins, dean of graduate studies and vice chancellor of student academic affairs at the University of California, San Francisco.

Watkins will present “Reconceiving the Pill: From Revolutionary Therapeutic to Lifestyle Drug” Thursday, March 17, at 6 p.m. in the Allen Memorial Medical Library’s Ford Auditorium.

Watkins’ research affirms that marketing decisions, rather than scientific innovations, have guided the development and positioning of contraceptive products in recent years. Although birth control has been pitched in the United States as an individual solution rather than a public health strategy, the purpose of oral contraceptives was understood by manufacturers, physicians and consumers to be the prevention of pregnancy, a basic health care need for women.

Since 1990, the content of that message has changed, reflecting a shift in the drug industry’s view of the contraception business. Watkins will explore the factors that brought about this change.

Registration for the lecture is available online or by phone at 216.368.3648. Register for the event by March 14.